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Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York / Edition 1

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Overview

" Winner of the 35th Annual Lillian Smith Book Award, 2004 A BookSense 76 Spring 2004 Top 10 Poetry Book! Read an excerpt from the book Listen to Frank X Walker reading on NPR's ""This I Believe"" segment of Morning Edition. This collection of persona poems tells the story of the infamous Lewis & Clark expedition from the point of view of Clark's personal slave, York. The poems form a narrative of York's inner and outer journey, before, during and after the expedition--a journey from slavery to freedom, from the plantation to the great northwest, from servant to soul yearning to be free. Over the course of the saga and through the poems, we are treated to subtle and overt commentaries on literacy, slavery, native Americans, buffalo, the environment, and more. Though Buffalo Dance purposely references historic accounts and facts, it is fictionalized poetry, and Frank X Walker's rare blend of history and art breathes life into an important but overlooked historical figure. Frank X Walker is the author of Affrilachia and the soon to be released Black Box , two collections of poetry. He teaches in the department of English & Theatre and is the interim Director of the African/African American Studies Program at Eastern Kentucky University. He is also a visiting professor in Pan African Studies department at the University of Louisville. A 2004 recipient of the Lillian Smith Book Award, he lives in Lexington, KY. Click here for Frank Walker's website.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"And now York, finally, has a voice. The man who made the voyage, the man with all the hopes and dreams of freedom has a voice, raises a song to his freedom, understands that his life was not his best self, only the best that he could do. Let us all raise a praise song to Frank X Walker, for giving voice to York. What a magnificent achievement." — Nikki Giovanni

"Fills a void in the great pantheon of the imagined American historical voice. This is an important luminous new collection." — Nikky Finney

"Using historical research, Walker eerily channels York, chronicling his growth into a free(d) man within himself." — North American Review

"This soulful collection transverses York's personal expedition." — Sojourners

"I"n 57 quietly moving poems, Frank X Walker speaks in the voice he has imagined for York, the slave of William Clark, and the only black man who participated in the 1804-06 Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery up the Missouri, across the country to the Pacific and back to St. Louis." — St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Walker's York embodies incredible strength, reveres the outdoors, and possesses a remarkable combination of pathos, compassion, and heroism." — Union Co. (KY) Advocate

"This imaginary interpretation of York's life into freedom and struggle against oppression is the very stuff of life and it is just as important that the stories be told not only for those of Affrilachian descent, but also for all of us who face the daily threat of homogenization by impersonal forces whose only intent is power over others." — Vox

"York is no longer silent. If York could have chosen the 'vessel' for his voice, he surely could have not selected a more capable voice than that of Frank X Walker. Kentucky native Walker, a founder of the Affrilachian Poets and the 2005 recipient of the Lannan Literary Fellowship for Poetry, gives elegant, wise, and reverent voice to York." — Serena Beam, Big Muddy

"A rare blend of history and art, Buffalo Dance is a unique collection." — books-african.blogspot.com

"His craft is sure throughout, his aesthetic consistent. Through exploring and imagining York's perspective, Walker succeeds in enhancing our understanding of an important chapter in American history." — William Jolliff, Appalachian Journal

"Kudos to Walker: the achieve of, the master of the thing." — North American Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813190884
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 2/1/2004
  • Series: Kentucky Voices Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 88
  • Product dimensions: 0.21 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

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